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How to update an old handbag

Update an old handbag

A handbag is an everyday accessory for holding your purse, keys, and other purse essentials. The best ones are those that seem to pair seamlessly with almost everything you wear. Do you have an old handbag that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which to breathe new life into it – as long as you aren’t averse to getting creative! Here are four ideas to update an old handbag.

Replace the strap

If the old strap is starting to look a bit boring, why not replace it with a modern metal chain? Simply remove the old belt and use a pair of pliers to attach the chain to the existing strap loops.

If your bag has drawstrings rather than a classic strap, you can replace those too. Simply use a colorful cord or ribbon to give it a more vibrant look.

Paint it

If you have an artistic side, invest in some paint to suit your bag’s material, such as Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint from There are two options here:

  1. Use the paint to cover the entire surface of your handbag – a great idea if you’re looking for a different color to match a specific outfit
  2. Paint something pretty on the surface of the bag, like a favorite cartoon character or an inspirational quote

What’s so great about using paint for this purpose is that you can also use it to DIY many of your other accessories. Use it on shoes, jackets, and belts to reinvent and customize them.

Place patches strategically

A favorite handbag is bound to show signs of wear and tear eventually. However, if you aren’t ready to retire it and buy a new one, there are some clever approaches to concealing any scratches or scuffs in a cinch.

One of these approaches is to buy a few stylish patches and easily sew them onto the affected areas. There are also iron-on patches. These patches are generally affordable and come in a range of designs, so there’s sure to be one that you’ll want to use.

At are a number of options for you to customize your patch. Choose from patches with backing types such as iron-on, embroidered, or woven and edge styles including beveled, serged or folded over, etc.

Throw on a scarf

Take your bag to new levels by simply choosing a brightly colored scarf and wrapping it around the main strap or handle. Secure with knots on the side and leave the remaining material draping over the purse’s sides.

It is a fantastic way to soften your look and looks great when paired with casual, summery outfits. Friends will think you got a new purse!

If you would prefer to leave the straps alone, you can add a similar type of flair by tying a bandana at the base of the handle in a little bow. Take a look at Pinterest for different ideas on how to tie the bandana – there’s an aesthetic for everyone.

Final words on updating an old handbag

See? There’s no need to part ways with your best-loved handbag just yet. Not only will it be a relief to hold onto it for a bit longer, but you can also feel good about choosing to follow the more sustainable fashion route!

4 thoughts on “How to update an old handbag”

  1. I tend to hang on to my favorite handbags for a long time. Your ideas are good ones. I like the scarf idea because they could be changed easily for a different look.

  2. Using a strong glue that dries clear, you can make a decoupage of lace and fabric bits.
    Use the fabrics to cover really worn spots, and put the lace over areas where the original colour can peek through. Your chain strap idea is perfect for this.

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